English Composition 1
A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed (U.S. Const. amend. II, § 2). Some will say that this is not true today. Some people believe that the government is continuing to try to take that away from the people of the United States.
Passing any substantive gun-control law was always a long shot, even after the nation cried out for a response to the mass shooting at Newtown, Conn. President Obama was angry at the defeat of the Manchin-Toomey plan, but some congressional veterans were less dispirited, noting that the Senate had actually been debating an issue of national importance--rather than just fighting over whether to have the debate--and elected officials were genuinely seeking answers (Johnson, 2013, para. 3). Senator Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, expressed to Johnson (2013) the following, “I think we need to have this debate. It needs to get aired out; I see it as a conversation about Second Amendment rights and the problems of our society” (para.4).
Gun control groups had pinned all their hopes on the carefully honed proposal by Toomey and Manchin to expand background checks for firearms sold at gun shows and on the Internet. It ended up five votes short of the 60 needed to pass. Tragically, the Senate could not even find enough votes to pass a mild proposal to strengthen penalties for trafficking guns (Johnson, 2013, para. 5). The gun-regulation fight is at a political stalemate. Congress is simply reflecting a divided public. Almost half of Americans (49 percent) think gun laws should be stricter, according to the most recent Associated Press/GfK poll. The other half (48 percent) think gun laws should remain as they are or be even less strict (Johnson, 2013, para. 7).
In an article written by Chris Frates titled “The Gun Debate Isn’t Over Yet” (2013) informs that negotiations between Senators, Chuck Schumer, D-New York., and Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, bogged down over whether private sellers would have to maintain records of background checks. The lines of communication are still open between the two men, but much of the deal-making has now fallen to Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat known for his pro-gun positions. Manchin has been talking to GOP Senator Mark Kirk, a moderate from Illinois, along with Coburn and other Republican senators, in a bid to find a compromise (para. 3).
Democratic Senator, Richard Blumenthal's home state of Connecticut--the site of the school shootings in December that sparked the new gun-control push--recently passed a bipartisan plan to overhaul its gun laws (Frates, 2013, para.6). The Democratic Senator explained to Frates (2013) that “there's a real opportunity for compromise on national background checks” (para.6).
Despite criticism that Reid has waited too long to act after Newtown put guns back into the national conversation and gave gun-control advocates the political high ground, some Democrats are standing by the majority leader's strategy. His defenders argue that he worked as quickly as possible, considering he had to wait weeks for the White House to issue its recommendations (Frates, 2013, para. 8).
When the U.S. Senate voted down every major gun proposal in April, gun control advocates were understandably deflated. After all, even an expansion of background checks for all firearm sales--a measure supported by about 88 percent of Americans—could not garner a filibuster-proof majority (Wogan, 2013, para. 1).
Since the Newtown Connecticut school shooting, four states have passed new laws requiring universal background checks, three have expanded bans against military-style assault weapons and four have expanded bans on ammunition clips carrying more than 10 rounds. By the middle of June, new gun control legislation had passed in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and New York,